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Château de Lacarelle, Beaujolais-Villages 2016

Red Wine from France - Beaujolais
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This beautiful château can trace its history back to 1750. Ripe yet sappy and fresh, this is a lovely example of the open, inviting Beaujolais style and uncomplicated charm.
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Code: BJ7211

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Light to medium-bodied
  • Gamay
  • 12.5% Alcohol
  • no oak influence
  • Cork, diam

Beaujolais

At its best, there is little that can match Beaujolais' fragrant, sappy, fruity flavours. Beaujolais tends to be a delight to drink upon release; indeed, extolling the wines' youthful virtues has been hugely successful.

At one time more than half the crop of this region was hurriedly fermented and sold as Beaujolais Nouveau, released on the third Thursday of November and raced to market in as many inventive ways as possible. Its cheap price and fun image made it popular for a while but, inevitably, quality suffered and Nouveau fell out of fashion in the face of new world competition.

Away from Beaujolais Nouveau, another kind of Beaujolais continued to be made, often using very traditional methods of production and reflecting a complexity of terroir that still comes as something of a surprise.

Beaujolais lies between the towns of Mâcon and Lyon with most of the vineyard confusingly coming into the Département du Rhône. The vast majority of the region's 18,500 hectares ...

At its best, there is little that can match Beaujolais' fragrant, sappy, fruity flavours. Beaujolais tends to be a delight to drink upon release; indeed, extolling the wines' youthful virtues has been hugely successful.

At one time more than half the crop of this region was hurriedly fermented and sold as Beaujolais Nouveau, released on the third Thursday of November and raced to market in as many inventive ways as possible. Its cheap price and fun image made it popular for a while but, inevitably, quality suffered and Nouveau fell out of fashion in the face of new world competition.

Away from Beaujolais Nouveau, another kind of Beaujolais continued to be made, often using very traditional methods of production and reflecting a complexity of terroir that still comes as something of a surprise.

Beaujolais lies between the towns of Mâcon and Lyon with most of the vineyard confusingly coming into the Département du Rhône. The vast majority of the region's 18,500 hectares is planted with a single red grape: gamay, or to be more precise, gamay noir à jus blanc. Often densely planted to help control the vines vigour, and therefore yields, trained low and pruned hard, they are need at least a short spell of real heat to ripen properly. In terms of soil, gamay does not do well on sedimentary rock types. Much of Beaujolais is granite with outcrops of schist in part of Morgon or Andesites in the Cote de Brouilly.

A little over 200 hectares is planted with chardonnay, which is growing in popularity because it is easier to sell and can be turned into sparkling Cremant de Bourgogne. White Beaujolais is sold either as Beaujolais blanc or Beaujolais-Villages blanc, and the best comes areas with chalk in the soil.

Below is a list of the appellations, but it is worth mentioning that the most important factor in the wines' quality is the grower.

Beaujolais: Mostly from the south where the soils are often of a limestone called pierres dorées, which makes excellent building material. But there are granites as well and a great many styles of wine possible though a major part of the productions continues to be made as Nouveau.

Beaujolais-Villages: These wines come from the north and are set among the ten crus and planted on the same granitic soils. 38 parishes are allowed to produce Beaujolais-Villages. They offer a midway point between generic Beaujolais and the greater complexity of the crus.

The ten crus, from north to south, are: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly. Each have their own unique variation on the local geology and topography, climatic conditions and character; from the light, fragrant Chiroubles to the richer, more concentrated Moulin-à-Vent with its ability to age and comparison in great years with top Burgundies.

Within these crus are specific vineyards, or climats, with deserved reputations for high-quality, such as Poncié in Fleurie or Côte du Py in Morgon. For a more thorough examination of these crus and their characteristic traits please see our How to Buy Beaujolais guide in the Wine World & News section of our website.

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Château de Lacarelle

One of the oldest properties in Beaujolais, Château de Lacarelle is an outstanding estate with a history spanning over 250 years. The Durieu de Lacarelle family bought it in 1750 and had the good business sense to create a Paris-based company to sell the wines. Since then, the estate has passed from father to son, each generation inheriting the winemaking passion of the last.

At 150 hectares, the estate is large for the region, and much of the land is in the hands of ten trusted families of sharecropping tenants, known in French as métayage. The vines have an average age of almost 60 years, and are planted on the granitic soil that is typical of the northern half of Beaujolais, with a nearby flock of sheep providing the estate’s natural fertiliser.

The vines here are among the first to ripen. This enables the family to produce Beaujolais in a soft, round style, and is also the reason that – in The Society’s opinion – this property’s Beaujolais Nouveau was simply the best.

The talented Louis Durieu de Lacarelle ran the estate from 1969 until his death in 2013 at the age of 88. He felt passionately that Beaujolais should be properly made in a way that the wine could be enjoyed young without having to be kept. To this end he applied all his skills as an enologist at a time when the status of winemaker barely existed. He was in so many ways very much ahead of his time.

Beaujolais Vintage 2016

2016 has turned out to be a gorgeous vintage, a little riper and fruitier than the lovely 2014 vintage, yet fresher and more vibrant than the ripe 2015s. Indeed all the qualities one expects are there in abundance. Mostly, the vintage produced a large crop in the south but the Chriroubles crop was destroyed by hail and Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent were also badly hit by hail.

JancisRobinson.com

Bright crimson.Light, juicy nose. So delightfully fresh and refreshing with quite enough fruiton the palate. Ridiculously cheap really! Very good value

16/20 Jancis Robinson

The Sunday Times

Bargain beaujolaiswith a rare depth for a non-“cru” single-village wine, with moreish juicyraspberry-like fruit.

90/100 Martin Moran

Financial Times

Ridiculously cheapfor this amount of fruity, youthful pleasure. This was a delightful vintage foraccessible Beaujolais, one of the world's under-priced wines.

- Jancis Robinson

wineanorak.com

Fresh, delicious and focused with lovely red cherryfruit and an appealing stoniness. Pure with a bit of raspberry crunch.Uncomplicated, delicious drinking.

- Jamie Goode

The Wine Gang

TextbookBeaujolais-Villages with sappy, strawberry fruit that comes across as bothcrunchy and soft and has no oak to get in its way. If you serve it lightlychilled, it'll perk you up rather than...
TextbookBeaujolais-Villages with sappy, strawberry fruit that comes across as bothcrunchy and soft and has no oak to get in its way. If you serve it lightlychilled, it'll perk you up rather than deliver the sledgehammer blow of aheavyweight winter red. A good solo red, party wine, or red to drink with fishor charcuterie.
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- The Wine Gang

France Magazine

One of the thingsBeaujolais can do brilliantly is produce fruity sappy easy-drinking reds oflight tannin - and this great-value example from a family-run domaine ticks allthe boxes. For all the modesty of ...
One of the thingsBeaujolais can do brilliantly is produce fruity sappy easy-drinking reds oflight tannin - and this great-value example from a family-run domaine ticks allthe boxes. For all the modesty of body, this overflows with primaryforest-fruit and black cherry compote flavours. The wine comes from one of theoldest properties in Beaujolais, dating from 1750, with vines averaging 60years - which is undoubtedly the reason for the concentration of fruit. Drinkwith cold cuts, pâtés.
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- Sally Easton

The Daily Telegraph

Lacarelle has been inthe hands of the same family since 1750 and is one of the oldest wine estatesin Beaujolais. Cracking wine, too – light-bodied but sappy, vivid andenergetic, reminiscent of the...
Lacarelle has been inthe hands of the same family since 1750 and is one of the oldest wine estatesin Beaujolais. Cracking wine, too – light-bodied but sappy, vivid andenergetic, reminiscent of the first signs of spring on a freezing day.
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- Victoria Moore

2016 vintage reviews
2014 vintage reviews
2013 vintage reviews

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